Last week, at the urging of President Trump, armed and dangerous insurrectionists stormed the US Capitol intent on disrupting the electoral process and doing harm to elected officials.
These are literally high crimes, as defined by US Code.
Seditious conspiracy: “Two or more persons… conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States….
Overthrow of government: “[O]rganizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly … who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof….”
Rebellion/insurrection: “Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto….”
Treason, which reads in full: “Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.”
Take your pick.
There is no wiggle room here, because we are a nation of laws. And this is what the law says. Everyone know it, except for some of the dopes who treated an insurrection like a music festival and some members of the US House and Senate, who are making pleas for “unity” in the waning, terrible days of the Trump presidency.
To this we say: No.
For one, as good, law-abiding Americans, we have no desire to unify with the insurrectionists, white supremacists, militia members and LARPers who stormed the Capitol last week. We don’t want to reach across the aisle to seditionists, and anyone else who was in the Capitol last week with MAGA on their minds.
For another, nothing has been more divisive than Republican policies and practices enacted in the House and Senate these last four years. Examples of this are legion, but for now the case of Rep. Ted Budd will suffice.
Budd tweeted on Monday: “Trying to impeach a President with less than 10 days left in office is the worst way to lower the temperature in our country. If Democrats say they want unity, this isn’t the way to show it.”
But remember, Budd was one of a cadre of GOP House members who had agreed to contest electoral counts in battleground states on that fateful day, and one of the few who actually went through with it after the mob outside had been quelled.
Calls for unity from Budd and others of his ilk make a fallacious assumption from the start: They seem to think we non-insurrectionists want to bring them back into the fold. But the law dictates that we must cast them out, not bring them in.
There must be consequences for those who orchestrated this attempted coup, or the insurrectionists will be emboldened to continue their attack on democracy.
Or, to borrow a phrase from the criminal right: We have no choice but to lock them up.